HONG KONG (Reuters) - Sydney FC revived their hopes of advancing to the knockout rounds of the Asian Champions League on Tuesday with a surprise 4-1 win over Suwon Bluewings in South Korea.
Milos Ninkovic gave Sydney the lead only for Dejan Damjanovic to level. However, goals from Alex Brosque, Adrian Mierzejewski and Bobo secured a win that gives Sydney hope of a top two finish in Group H.
“It was a very hard game for us and I think Suwon played well, but we had our chances and we scored goals and we are very happy,” said Mierzejewski.
Sydney will host a Shanghai Shenhua side on April 17 that squandered a two-goal lead against Kashima Antlers, with the 2-2 draw eliminating the Chinese Super League side from the competition as Kashima booked their place in the last 16.
Goals from Giovanni Moreno and Mao Jianqing gave Shenhua a healthy advantage at halftime. However, the introduction of Mu Kanazaki inspired the Japanese side, with Yuma Suzuki and Leandro scoring to salvage a draw.
The result means Kashima cannot finish outside the top two places while Shanghai are eliminated, despite sitting three points behind second-placed Suwon, because of their inferior head-to-head record.
Two-time champions Guangzhou Evergrande also endured a frustrating evening as Fabio Cannavaro’s team were pegged back to a 1-1 draw by Buriram United in Group G.
Zheng Long put Evergrande in front and on course for a place in the next phase, only for Yoo Jun-soo to score two minutes into stoppage time to keep Buriram’s last 16 hopes intact.
Evergrande lead the group with nine points, one more than Cerezo Osaka, who defeated South Korea’s already eliminated Jeju United 2-1 to revitalise their own chances of advancing.
Meanwhile, last year’s beaten finalists Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia are already out after a 2-1 loss at Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates.
Al Ain are now in second place in Group D, with Iran’s Esteghlal progressing as a result of their 2-0 win over Qatar’s Al Rayyan. Al Hilal are bottom with two points.
In Group C, Iranian side Persepolis joined Al Sadd of Qatar in the next round with a 0-0 draw against Nasaf Qarshi from Uzbekistan.
Al Sadd defeated Al Wasl of the UAE 2-0 to move to the top of the group and into the last 16.
Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Christian Radnedge